Coffee growers in Bugarura Island, Rutsiro District appeal to the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) for a coffee processing factory that would help them address the issue of investors who buy their coffee harvest to a lower prices which do not comply with those set by NAEB.
The farmers claim they lose between Rwf 20 and 70 on their wet coffee price per kilogram, for the reason reported to be of transport charges and claim a coffee processing factory would address such price cuts issues and instead have their coffee well processed before it is take to the market from the Island.
Joseph Kanzeguhera, a resident in Rutagara, one of the villages located in the Island, said not having a coffee processing factory lead farmers to falling into losses from their coffee harvest
He says, “The efforts we spend on growing coffee do not match the money we get from it as we are failing to be happy with the price of the harvested coffee. When the official price is Rwf 270 a kilo, we only get Rwf 250 or 240, we don’t get paid on the price announced on radio”
He adds that they get paid the price because they have no choice of the market that pays the announced price because they are not allowed to take their coffee to another market from a different sector.
Justin Habimana, is a resident in Bugarura Village, says he does not understand why the buyers do not buy their coffee at the same price as that of those from bordering cells while they are in the same sector.
He says, “ if we get a processing factory, and have our coffee processed here and taken to the recognized market, we would become rich for sure because we harvest it and those who cross the small river and come to buy it here at a lower price than that of our neighboring farmers”
Concerning the construction of the coffee processing factory, Gakuru Munyakazi, the Vice Mayor of Rutsiro District in charge of Development and Planning said the decision to build it will depend on the harvest produced by coffee farmers
“Deciding to building a factory depends on the number of coffee trees planted in the area and its production. The money is spent to build such a factory but it is built reference to the quantity of production expected from the area that the factory can process”
He added that the district is going to evaluate and see whether current factory owners have some charges cut from the farmers’ due prices and make peace between the two parties, coffee growers and factory owners, for the interests of the both sides.
Coffee growers on the area claim that, when coffee in ready to harvest, they get paid at lower prices down to Rwf 200, a less price comparing to NAEB’s Rwf 270, an official price at national standard but people struggle to get paid the set price and face pay cut, for a reported reason of ‘transport’
The economic welfare of Bugarura Island’s community is based on farming of coffee and Banana plantation and fishing.
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